The same advantages that make BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) popular in the workplace also sound very attractive for events – you don’t have to worry about everyone have a mobile device (because everyone will have their own anyway) and your company can save the money it would take to ensure that the right devices are supplied at the right times. But BYOD also comes with its own set of challenges, and every event planning team should be aware of them while making event decisions. Here’s what you should know.
BYOD Events Work with BYOD Companies
If your company already has BYOD policies, then BYOD is also a potentially effective option for your event. However, if you have corporate mobile devices that are issued to employees, there’s no reason to offer BYOD – you’re just creating unnecessary work and confusion. If your company doesn’t have much of a mobile policy at all, you can offer BYOD, but it will take a lot of hard work to properly incorporate the right mobile strategies into your event. Think about your current BYOD situation first.
Compatibility Will Be a Challenge
There’s a large and still-growing field of event apps to use today, from augmented reality apps to experience certain presentations to guest list and seating apps that allow people to sign up and navigate an event properly. However, as you have probably experienced on your own phone, not all apps are compatible with all platforms. Even the divide between iOS and Android can have a profound impact on what event apps are feasible, and that’s not considering the age of phones, the uncertainty of updates, the outliers like Blackberries, and so on. You can still use event apps, but you need to make sure they have universal compatibility, which can be difficult to find. Make sure you always let attendees know about the app requirements!
BYOD Works Best When Mobile Is a Central Focus
If you are asking people to bring along their mobile devices, then you need to have ways for them to use those devices to interact and learn – otherwise, everyone just has a distraction waiting in their pocket. Make sure you have a purpose in specifying a BYOD environment. Otherwise, why call attention to it?
The BYOD Event Policy Needs to Be Published Ahead of Time
The policy for your event should be tailored to its specific concerns – you can’t just copy over your company’s BYOD policy (although referencing it is a good idea). BYOD policies on charging phones, using phones, making downloads and exchanging information should all be clear. Focus on security and usability, while making sure everyone knows what is expected of them when it comes to courtesy, too.
Bandwidth Will Be a Primary Concern
All those mobile devices will need a whole lot of internet access to function correctly. You want a venue with wireless bandwidth that can handle at least one device per attendee if you have a BYOD focus.
Provide Digital Downloads Afterward
With so many platforms and event apps floating around in a BYOD environment, one of the more effective ways to spread information is to provide content that works with all devices. This includes downloadable PDFs, basic links to optimized websites, and similar solutions.
For more information on how to prepare for mobile devices and what BYOD decisions to make, head over to Fourth Wall Events and let us know your goals!